When thinking back on my business training (a few decades ago!), there are only a few books that stand out as classics and that have served me well in my management consulting.
One of those books was Peter Schwartz’s, Art of the Long View, which documented “scenario planning” (based upon Shell’s initial work). He even described scenarios at that point of “globalisation” — which seemed inevitable at that point — and resistances to such globalisation.
He challenged the notion of traditional strategic planning and instead brought a refreshing “big picture”, long-term and “blue ocean” type of thinking — that got business leaders thinking “outside the box” in a planned and informed way.
Although the book was published in 1990 (reprint in 1996), various subsequent re-printings and updates have occurred (including a recent appendix with a “step-by-step” guide to scenario planning), and he has published a subsequent book, Learnings from the Long View (2011), where he candidly re-assesses his original book.
If your organisation has become complacent in their strategic planning or have “put it into the too hard basket”, take a look at these books and tools. We can’t “wish away” these uncertain times, but we can open our eyes to thinking through various scenarios — to prepare ourselves.